Returning to the idyllic oasis that is the luxury Park Hyatt Dubai hotel was a combination of firsts and lasts. First the firsts. The gal was introduced to just-arrived chef, Daniele Gialluisi, shown in the photo at the top of this story with the hotel’s GM Mattheos Georgiou, who needed a new chef and timing was just right as Palazzo Versace, here in Dubai, had apparently closed its Italian restaurant so Gialluisi was looking for a job. He arrived here, to cook in Traiteur, with limited English – how did he manage at the Palazzo? He comes from Bari, and like all Italians his charm is infectious. Another new feature here is the divine Ferretti boutique, highlighting what was before simply an unused part of this hotel’s third floor lobby.
Just as I found a few days ago at another Dubai hotel which similarly put in a designer boutique, having such a facility not only sells goods, which means income for the tenant with, presumably, a commission to the hotel, but it adds so much to the perception of value for guests who pass by. I was even tempted to go into Ferretti and check out the hats, and garments. Whoever is the buyer here has a lot of talent. Dubai is a place for entrepreneurs, of course. I hear from Mattheos Georgiou about two women who have set up a production company called Meraki, and they, apparently, are reconceptualising the food here. Now, after all these exciting ‘firsts’ it is time to come to the ‘lasts’.
Dining at Le Traiteur was, tonight, a last – for me, at least. It will become a bar, upstairs, and a brasserie, downstairs. A completely new Cape Cod restaurant will spill out on to the sidewalk, by the creek. The existing all-day Arabesque will evolve into pure-Arabic (whatever that is, since every nation has its own version of, say, hommus, and everyone anywhere seems to spell it however they wish). So, here we go, our last evening at Le Traiteur, and it was truly memorable, as always. We walked to the restaurant past one of my favourites of the hotel’s many sculptures, Judith Holmes Drury’s boy reading. Outside, on Le Traiteur terrace, I started with a glass of Matua 2014 Pinot Noir from New Zealand, to accompany Salade des Onzes, namely avocado, fine herbs, sunflower seeds, wild mushrooms, and instead of the listed white balsamic dressing Daniele Gialluisi brought out some olive oil in an unmarked ceramic pot that he had brought with him from his last trip back home.
That is the kind of element that makes a luxury hotel really special. When a chef carries goods for his customers that shows the passion he obviously has. I was thinking about that before dawn when I headed around the outdoor pool to make my way to the 24/7 Technogym and already, at 5 a.m., there were young men and women, in immaculate white pool gear, setting up beds for what would be another busy day. Oh how much better than having the pool set up done later when sunworshippers are already gathering…. talking of gathering, by 5.30 there were three others, separately, in the gym with me. That was not quite a first and I am sure it will not be the last occasion. Today’s global travellers operate 24/7. NOW ENJOY THE VIDEO BELOW